One momentous evening in 2011, amidst the verdant hills of Italy’s Tuscany region, as Jerry M. Bello, Jr. and his wife Shannon sat down for a meal at a traditional osteria while on vacation, inspiration struck.
Snack and bakery companies that work with dough, or looser components like batters, fillings or toppings, turn to manufacturers of depositors, dividers and rounders to cut, divide, portion and round or mould their products—and the equipment continues to get faster, more accurate, more customizable and easier to clean, among other winning qualities.
Usage of the term “better-for-you” can be confusing for some, but generally it means taking traditional foods—including many snacks and baked goods that are normally thought of as indulgent, like cookies and sweets—and improving them nutritionally, including cleaning up the label. This can largely be accomplished through ingredient selection.
Cold-chain management—an essential aspect of many snack and bakery operations today—has entered a brave new world characterized by sophisticated temperature monitoring and tracking technology connected by the Internet of Things (IoT).
The latest bagging and closing equipment—performing everything from bagging and tying to heat-sealing—is flexible and able to produce a variety of bag styles. Also, modular machine designs allow for layout flexibility and scalability, which lets producers expand their production capacity.
Whether center-of-store or along the perimeter in the fresh bakery section, sweet goods are on the rise. According to the 2017 “What’s in Store” report from the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association, in-store bakeries have experienced much success over the past five years, soaring 51 percent in total annual sales to reach $15.7 billion dollars, enjoying a 7.9 percent increase in the past year alone.
On a recent supermarket trip in my suburban Chicago neighborhood, I grabbed a loaf of Butternut bread (a classic Chicago brand dating back to 1893—and one that my kids love) and noticed a QR code on the bag next to the message of, “Be Informed: Go to WhyEatBread.com.”